JWPMS Student Advances to National Level for PTSA Contest

Posted on March 11, 2015, in Academics, Events

Ellen Eisert

James W. Parker Middle School student Ellen Eisert advances to the National level of the PTA Reflections Contest.

“I am so very proud of Ellen and her recognition in advancing to the Reflections national level,” said James W. Parker Middle School art teacher Christina Martin. “She used her creativity to make an award winning film and is the type of student who goes above and beyond in everything she does. She has made all of us, at James W. Parker Middle School, very proud.”

Ellen advances after her film, “If People Looked Nature as a Gift”, placed first at the state level. She is a seventh grader at the Middle School and is the first student in the District to advance to the National level in the filmmaking category. All participants who place first in the state move on to the National level.

Seventh grader Olivia Sutton placed second in the state for middle school visual arts. All state winners are invited to a special Reflections Breakfast Awards Ceremony, which takes place in Erie at the Ambassador on April 19, 2015.

Ellen is one of only four students in Erie who will advance to the National level. Erie County schools are part of Region 1, which had eleven state winners this year. According to Region 1 Reflections Chair Amy Fugate, even though Region 1 is ranked tenth (of 13 Regions) for the number of members, it tied for fifth place in total number of Reflections winners.

Ellen’s five-minute film stresses the importance of nature and how it makes the world a better place.

“Everyone is so caught up in technology and their iPhones that they aren’t paying attention to what they already have,” Ellen said. “I wanted to show them how beautiful nature can be.”

Ellen said she has been making films since third grade, just a year after her dad introduced her to a video making software. Now, she enjoys making and directing movies with her family and friends during her free time. She’s also decided that she wants to be a film director when she grows up.

“This recognition means a lot to me. It makes me very happy and excited to know that my film was selected first across the state,” Ellen said.

The National PTA Reflections program supports student success and serves as a valuable tool for building strong partnerships in your school community. All grades and abilities are invited to participate in this program, which celebrates the arts. Annually, thousands of students will reflect on a common theme and create original works of art in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.

There are several levels of competition: local school, council, region, state and nationals. The national entries are currently being judged and winners will be announced by May.

In addition to Ellen and Olivia, regional winners from General McLane School District included Danielle Mitchell and Ellen Eisert for film/middle school, Mara Kallay for Filk/Intermediate. From McKean Elementary, Jane Howard and Charlie Salvo advanced for Literature. The Erie County Reflections winners from General McLane School District included: Danielle Sara Mitchell, Olivia Shay, Katie M. Johnson, Alayna R. Smith, Isabella Shay, Charlotte Brower, Olivia Lynn, Lucas Leasure, Mara Kallay and Ellen Eisert.